Hualien County Sanmin Junior High School, commissioned by the Hualien County Indigenous Education Resource Center, held the Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Teacher Training Course today (July 3). Invited was Acting Chairperson Icyang‧Parod of the Council of Indigenous Peoples to give a lecture from the perspective of indigenous peoples, sharing the history of past resistance movements and the significance of transitional justice.
Acting Chairperson Icyang shared his personal experience participating in indigenous rights movements since the 1980s, vividly depicting the decades-long process of street protests and struggle for indigenous recognition. Through videos, attendees were able to immerse themselves in the history of this land. Furthermore, Acting Chairperson Icyang explained the concrete measures taken by the government to promote historical and transitional justice following President Tsai Ing-wen's apology to indigenous peoples. These measures include the enactment of the Indigenous Languages Development Act, amendments to the Education Act for Indigenous Peoples, Article 37 of the Slopeland Conservation and Utilization Act, certain provisions of the Logging Ban Compensation for Lands Reserved for Indigenous Peoples Act, and the Regulations on the Development and Management of the Lands Reserved for Indigenous People.
Acting Chairperson Icyang further cited the Indigenous Languages Development Act as an example, pointing out that after its implementation in 2017, indigenous languages became national languages. In 2022, the Executive Yuan approved the "National Language Overall Development Plan 5-Year Project," significantly increasing the budget for indigenous languages from NT$110 million to NT$1.85 billion per year, including initiatives such as the professionalization of indigenous language teachers, the establishment of a wide range of indigenous language promotion personnel, the creation of 16 indigenous language promotion organizations, and the establishment of the Indigenous Languages Research and Development Foundation. Substantial progress has been made in the preservation, maintenance, and development of indigenous languages.
Principal Lin Guo-yuan of Sanmin Junior High School expressed that a few years ago, he visited the "Taiwan Indigenous People’s Rights: From Constitution to Practice" exhibition organized by the Council of Indigenous Peoples in Taipei, only to realize that the general public lacks awareness of this historical period. Therefore, he took the opportunity to invite Acting Chairperson Icyang, who participated in the indigenous rights movement, to give a lecture to kick-start the project of transitional justice through the power of education.
The Council of Indigenous Peoples stated that in response to this training activity, the "Taiwan Indigenous People’s Rights: From Constitution to Practice" exhibition will be moved to Sanmin Junior High School. By combining the power of education, they aim to continuously enhance understanding of historical context and development of indigenous rights movements among more people in Taiwan so the path to reconciliation is closer.